What If We’re Looking At The Wrong Polling Question On Trump?

Does Donald Trump really have a chance to win because other metric should be considered?

Democrats, don’t celebrate Trump’s nomination. Fear it.

I know the polls say Donald Trump cannot win. But what if we are looking at the wrong poll question?

What if Trump’s overwhelming negatives don’t matter? Or, to put it another way, what if the country’s negatives matter more?

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Right now, about 6 in 10 Americans have an unfavorable view of Trump, and only 36 percent view him positively.

But the country is faring even worse. In the most recent average of polls calculated by RealClearPolitics, 26.9 percent of Americans think the nation is headed in the right direction and 64.9 percent think we are heading down the wrong track.

There are lots of polls that track similarly, things like consumer confidence, good jobs, earnings, and others, that are poor news that would have people saying that the country is on the wrong track. A brand spanking new poll by Rasmussen says that 60% want to put America first, which helps Trump.

So what if even voters who respect Hillary Clinton’s competence reject her as the embodiment of business as usual? And what if even voters who do not like Trump’s bigotry or bluster care more that he will, in their view, shake things up?

Sure, these voters might tell themselves, he may be crude, or inconsistent, or ill-informed. He may insult women and Hispanics and other groups. But it’s part of a shtick. He probably doesn’t mean half of it. He’s just an entertainer. The desire to send a message of disgust or disapproval, in other words, could lead voters to overlook, discount, wish away or excuse many Trump sins.

Hillary is status quo, and she’s not as talented as Bill. She has quite a few negatives and problems, one of which is Bill’s misogyny and attacks on women. Do not for a moment think that Trump will not beat that horse on a constant basis.

Still, when I hear smart people explaining why Trump cannot win, all I can think is: Aren’t you the ones who told us that he couldn’t top 30 percent, and then 40 percent, and then 50 percent in the Republican primaries? Weren’t you confident that he was finished after he called Mexicans rapists, and insulted prisoners of war, and dished out a menstruation insult?

Here’s the thing: whether you like, dislike, love, or loath Donald Trump, don’t discount him. I hear pundits on TV wondering when he’s going to pivot to a kinder, gentler version for the general election. Who says he will? This schtick has worked so far. It’s a pretty safe bet that a guy like Trump has a massive action plan, written prior to jumping into the race, just like business people do for running businesses. It surely included things like finding nicknames for opponents, like calling Ted Cruz “lyin’ Ted” and Jeb Bush “low energy”. And “Crooked Hillary”. The bluster, the attacks, the whipping people up. I remember a football coach saying he would keep running the same plays that work until the other team could stop him. If it works, keep doing it.

And it is working. The question is, will enough people buy into the schitck for the general to get Donald to the requisite number of electoral college votes? Will he woo enough people? Are there enough folks who see the country heading in the wrong direction and want to change? Think what you will, but don’t think Trump doesn’t have a plan, one which takes advantage of things like almost 75% of the nation thinking we’re heading in the wrong direction. And he will beat Hillary around the shoulders as part of the problem.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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